December 2011

Children of the light
(Saturday, 10 December 2011 )

T

his Sunday is commonly known as Gaudete Sunday–Joyful Sunday. If a parish has them, the priest wears rose vestments, instead of the usual purple or violet of Advent.

In the early history of the Church, Advent was another Lent, a time of fasting and penance. This lasted right up until the first millennium.

As part of the...

Defiant flag raising as Papuans call for independence
(Saturday, 10 December 2011 )

JAYAPURA (UCAN): Thousands of people gathered at the grave of an independence leader in Sentani, the district of Jayapura in Papua, on December 1 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of what some refer to as the true declaration of independence in Papua.

The ceremonies marked the anniversary of the raising of the first flag of the independence movement, the Morning Star, an act which today, is an offence under...

Climate change convention begins behind scratch in Durban
(Saturday, 10 December 2011 )

DURBAN (SE): Over 10,000 people are expected to attend the United Nations (UN) Framework Conference of Climate Change, (COP) which was opened on November 28 in Durban by the president of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma.

Observers say that the location of the conference in South Africa is a significant choice, as it is a reminder to delegates that solving climate change cannot be divorced from the challenge...

A quiet bishop dies a humble death
(Saturday, 10 December 2011 )

KAIFENG (UCAN) : Bishop Anthony Zong Changfeng, of the unofficial community in Kaifeng, central Henan province, was laid to rest during a ceremony in his hometown of Zhouzhi on November 29.

The coadjutor bishop, who never assumed office because of obstructions from the government, died on November 22 at the age of 79, after receiving the sacrament of the sick with his friends and supporters gathered around his...

A tale of two priests tried by circus
(Saturday, 10 December 2011 )

HONG KONG (SE): “Trial by media circus does not help victims of sexual abuse or educate society in relation to the abhorrence of the crime, and while scapegoating one group of people may lead a society to believe that it is addressing the issue, it is, in fact, not,” Father Sean McDonagh, from the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland, told the Sunday Examiner.

On May 23 at 9.30pm this year, the...

Where words and actions 
do not meet
(Saturday, 10 December 2011 )

A bishop ordained with the permission of the pope and the approval of the government in Beijing should have been a day of rejoicing for the Catholic people of China. However, in the wash up, it turned out to be one more painful lesson in the determination of government officials not to allow the Church any freedom in conducting its own affairs.

Despite government rhetoric proclaiming that it is keen to have good...

Honorary doctorate for Archbishop Hon
(Saturday, 10 December 2011 )

TAIPEI (AsiaNews): Fu Jen University in Taipei, Taiwan, conferred an honorary doctorate on the Hong Kong-born secretary to the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-fai, on Decmeber 1.

“This doctorate,” Archbishop Hon said, “makes me even more united with the Holy See in promoting the progress of culture and integrate Christian culture and Chinese culture...

Bishop raises alarm at Korea’s empty cradles
(Saturday, 10 December 2011 )

DAEJEON (AsiaNews): Looking at the empty cradles dotting the nursery’s of South Korea, Bishop Lazarus You Heung-sik, from the Commission for Pastoral Care for Migrants, commented, “The country needs a new culture of life.”

The bishop of Daejeon continued, “The Catholic Church always points this out, but for us Koreans, it is a major challenge on the ground. We must strive to change social...

Aging Taiwan population poses conundrum for schools
(Saturday, 10 December 2011 )

TAIPEI (UCAN): Catholic schools in Taiwan have reached a crossroads, with some asking whether they should aim at becoming international schools for students from mainland China and southeast Asia, rather than opting to serve the needs of local students.

Further complicating the situation is an educational divide about the focus of meeting local needs. Should schools seek to assist the poor or establish themselves as...

Missionary of Charity arrested for trafficking
(Saturday, 10 December 2011 )

COLOMBO (AsiaNews): Sister Mary Eliza, from the Missionaries of Charity, was arrested by Sri Lankan police on November 25 and was being held in the Women’s Prison of Welikada, accused of trafficking children.

She is the first sister from the congregation founded by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta to be arrested.

Police burst into the Prem Nivesa hostel for unmarried...